I had mixed feelings going into this episode, described in the following terms by my TiVo: “McGarrett and the team work with an injured police dog that is the only witness to an ambushed drug bust”. Now, on the one hand I hate Brer Dog. But on the other: DUDES. The DOG is a WITNESS. I’m pretty sure that was the plot to the pilot of Hooperman, although it’s over 20 years since I saw it. I liked Hooperman.
Sorry: where was I? Oh yes. We open with Eddie the Dog (which I’m assuming must be a shoutout to Frasier, particularly given that one of the characters in this episode is named Niles) scampering down the sun-dappled corridor in his house to wake up his owner, who then gets dressed… in the uniform of a DEA agent, also strapping Eddie into his, uh, drug dog gear. And off the two of them go to the port, where the DEA has assembled on information that there’s cocaine in one of the containers.
It is, however, an ambush, and the DEA agents start taking fire. It turns out that Eddie is multi-talented, though, barking whenever someone is about to fire on his master. Woof! (“Gunman at four o’clock!”) Woof! (“Tango on your six!”) But not even Eddie can keep the baddies at bay for ever; his master is fatally wounded, and Eddie himself sustains a GSW to the torso.
When the Five-0 gets to the scene, Steve is told that two agents were killed and a dog is unaccounted for, and he immediately recognises the importance of finding the missing dog. Eddie, happily, is still alive, but only just. Steve demands paramedics, and Eddie is taken to doggy hospital and intubated, probably given a CBC and chem-7 as well, then goes under the scalpel. Not only is the operation successful, but before being shot he’d managed to bite one of the baddies, whose blood is still in his mouth, and capable of DNA analysis.
Meantime, the Five-0 is trying to work out how the ambush took place at all, and realises it means that someone must have tipped the dealers off that the DEA was going to be there. This leads them through a confidential informant to a dead low-level drug dealer and the restaurant – proprietor Niles – where he washed dishes. Niles owns an industrial complex which is ideal for the manufacture of illegal drugs, so the Five-0 heads over to search it, with Steve observing that, given the size of the complex, they’ll need some help. And there’s a lovely panning shot of the Five-0, plus additional canine member, sitting in the van on the way there. It all works out in the end: even for Eddie, also revealed to have done a stint in Afghanistan. I think an Eddie spin-off would never run out of storylines.
It’s a solid rather than spectacular episode, notable also for our introduction to new cast member Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale), an ex-SEAL who turns up on Steve’s doorstep looking for a job. Rather than shoot him Steve places him under Duke’s wing, and tells him that if he successfully gets through the Police Academy there’ll be a place for him in the Five-0. Which, I suppose, also gives the producers a get-out clause if audiences don’t take to him.